Read Numbers 1 -- 2
In Today's Reading:
First numbering (census) of the Israelites for military purposes and encampment location of each tribe in relation to the Tabernacle
About 70 times in the Book of Numbers, we read: The LORD said or the LORD spoke to Moses. These were the words of our Heavenly Father speaking to His children. The desire of God was to have a people that would love, obey, and follow Him without reservation. He, in turn, would be their God, and lead them into the promised land. While the Israelites remained at Mount Sinai, it was twice said of them: And the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses (Numbers 1:54; 2:34). As long as the Israelites were neither accomplishing anything for the Lord, nor going anywhere, just talking about it, they were content. But, just days after they departed from the mount of the LORD . . . to search out a resting place. . . . the people complained. . . . Who shall give us flesh to eat? . . . our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna (10:33; 11:1,4,6). Rather than see their difficulties as an opportunity to believe that God would continue to meet their needs and lead them to the promised land, they chose to be dissatisfied with their circumstances.
In much the same way, our lives are also a wilderness journey to our promised land, a march each day through unfamiliar territory. Let us not forget that, from the time the Israelites were led to move forward in obedience to God's Word, Satan was there to create discontent, faultfinding and unbelief in the promises of God.
When Christians complain about their hardships, as the Israelites did, they too disqualify themselves from the Lord's best. Only a faithful few, like Caleb, Joshua, and Moses, recognize that God is in control and has arranged His plan for our lives. We need to faithfully read the Bible with an unreserved desire to know His will and to do all that He would have us do. Jesus is still saying to all who find fault with God: O you of little faith, why did you doubt? (Matthew 14:31). We are never alone. His indwelling Holy Spirit enlightens our minds, comforts and stirs our hearts to accomplish His will.When in doubt, pray: I do believe; help my unbelief (Mark 9:24).
1:2 take the sum = take a census; by their polls = by head count; 1:16 renowned = chosen national representative; 1:17 expressed = designated; 1:18 pedigrees = ancestry; 2:2 ensign = tribal banner.
By Moses as he led the people (Numbers 1:54). Jesus said: I seek not My own will, but the will of the Father (Who) has sent Me (John5:30).
Government Official: Sen. Arlen Specter (PA) · Country: Nicaragua (5 million) in Central America · Major languages: Spanish and English · Limited religious freedom · 95% Roman Catholic; 5% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Cry out to God daily for mercy (Psalm 86:3).
Optional Reading: Mark 15
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:9